Incinerator verdict a victory for democracy, accountability and campaigning residents
Sinn Féin MLAs Gerry Kelly and Declan Kearney have welcomed the decision by a Belfast Court to overturn the decision by a senior civil servant to give the go ahead to a controversial proposal to site a waste incinerator in Mallusk.
North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said:
“This was a far-reaching verdict which will affect the running of all local government departments and it was a victory for local democracy, accountability and campaigning residents.
“The court has ruled that an unelected senior civil servant in the Department of Infrastructure didn’t have the powers to make such a huge policy decision which should have gone to the Executive.
“This is also a good decision for the people of North Belfast and South Antrim who have united and campaigned in opposition to the Arc21 incinerator plant.”
South Antrim MLA Declan Kearney said:
“The public interest has been vindicated and upheld by today’s court verdict.
“The decision to give the go ahead to the incinerator was wrong and was never in the public interest, and certainly not in the interest of Hightown residents’ safety.
“There are now no legal grounds or any other grounds to proceed with this very flawed proposal.
"The Department should accept the outcome of the court decision: it should not appeal this ruling.
“The court’s verdict also points up the need to restore genuine power sharing political institutions in the north which deliver for all on the basis of equality and need.
“That requires the two governments to recall the British Irish inter governmental conference to deal with the equality issues at the centre of the current political impasse.
“Today’s verdict points up the urgency of that mechanism being established.”